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Disaggregated Junos Software - an open platform for data center innovation
Nov 3, 2015

Applications drive requirements in modern IT data centers. As the application consumption model changes from the legacy client-server architecture to today’s everything-as-a-service from the cloud model, IT is under tremendous pressure to deliver more, faster, with greater flexibility and scalability—all while reducing costs.

 

To meet these ever-changing business needs and deliver the agility businesses demand, the underlying infrastructure must walk a fine line—it must be on a solid foundation but also flexible enough to adapt to future needs. This flexibility should be inherent in the network itself; that means both hardware and software need to be architected so that customers can enable new features, functionality and services at the speed of change. This requires a complete disaggregation of networking hardware and software, giving customers the flexibility to run whatever software they want on the hardware platform of their choice while also allowing them to leverage the software investment over time while replacing the hardware as needed.

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To address this requirement, Juniper developed a disaggregated version of the Junos software infrastructure. Based on Linux and built from the ground up for automation and programmability, the disaggregated Junos software allows customers to install third-party applications and tools on supported switching, routing and security platforms. Control plane and data plane processes run in parallel; these functions are directly accessible through programmable APIs for easy integration with guest applications and orchestration tools. There are lots of benefits of this disaggregated software infrastructure; here are just a few:

 

  • The whole system can be managed like a server—breaking up the IT silos, it allows the DevOps and NetOps teams to collaborate, reducing IT service delivery times and costs.
  • It allows customers to install third-party applications, tools, and services in a VM or container directly on the switch—automation and programming tools such as Puppet Labs, Chef and Ansible, and services like virtual firewall, analytics, deep packet inspection, Wireshark, Zero-Touch Provisioning, Nagios, Quagga etc. —all can be run directly on the switch.
  • Natively run applications and tools can be upgraded using typical Linux repositories—without waiting for a new Junos release.
  • Support for In-Service-Software-Upgrades (ISSU) ensures higher uptime, with Junos running on active and stand-by VMs.
  • Modularized components increase reliability, with fault contained within the impacted module.
  • Customers can directly program the switch’s control or data plane through APIs for improved network operations.

The new QFX5200 line of switches will be the first from Juniper to support the disaggregated Junos software infrastructure. The QFX10000 line—in fact, all QFX Series switches—will follow this model in the future. The disaggregated Junos software infrastructure opens up a whole new platform that enables our customers and partners to introduce more IT innovations and value-added services to the data center—just like the app store for smart phones.